charismatic leader of an ecological death cult

charismatic leader of an ecological death cult

charismatic leader of an ecological death cult

Bill Nye in 'The End Is Nye' (Peacock)

Bill Nye in ‘The End Is Nye’ (Peacock)

We have long been obsessed with disaster. In his new show The end is Nyethe beloved American television scientist and father figure Bill Nye points out the storms of The stormbut even Shakespeare caught the bug of catastrophe before then. Twelfth night opens with a shipwreck. In his threatening speech in extreme weather conditions A Midsummer Night’s DreamTitania talks about tremendous floods, rotting crops and disappearing seasons. We now have 24/7 news channels thriving on disastrous porn.

Nye appeals to our attraction to the calamity, even if she refuses. “Think about it, folks,” Peacock declares in his debut series about the various forms – from solar flares to drifting comets – that Armageddon could take. His eyes are wide open and his voice trembles with shame. “We’re like some kind of weird death cult.”

Honestly, it hurts a little when “Bill Nye the Science Guy” scolds you. What happened to the hot and avuncular Disney channel presenter who did crazy experiments with a bow tie? Do you know that your skin weighs twice as much as your brain? Nye taught me this in the mid-nineties, when I was young and my mind seemed to have infinite space to hold useless facts. And did you know that a TV sinks if you throw it in the pool? Well, I saw it with my own eyes thanks to Nye.

Sadly, it seems climate change will leave nothing, not even my nostalgic TV memories of children, intact. Why on The end is Nye, Bill Nye ditches his science fanatic schtick in favor of a really, really tough love. You might think that the best way to get viewers to stop killing the planet is to show them beautiful images of the Earth full of life. But Nye is less like David Attenborough here and more like Jacob Marley wearing a cool white lab coat instead of chains. The boy who once pleaded with children to see the wonder in the natural world has reinvented himself as, in his own words, a “tour guide to the end”. He is A Christmas carol for the planet.

Through six episodes, Nye guides viewers through devastating simulations of the worst catastrophes imaginable: earthquakes, tsunamis, dust storms, droughts and hurricanes. There is also something called a supervolcano. Like Mrs. Trunchbull forcing Bruce to eat a whole chocolate cake when he only stole a slice Matilde, Nye wants us to take all of our bad choices – primarily, the burning of fossil fuels – to their extreme conclusion. If we are a “strange death cult”, Nye is our visionary leader, seducing us to a new way of life.

Of course, the utopia he has in mind isn’t a Kauai commune – my sectarian fantasies always end in Hawaii. Nye wants us to install solar panels, buy electric cars, and build wind farms. Basically, he would like us to listen to scientists like him. It is essentially what he has always wanted from his earliest incarnations. ON Bill Nye the science boy, which aired from 1993 to 1999, hoped that science was cool enough in and of itself to grab our attention. In 2017 it returned to TV screens via the Netflix series Bill Nye saves the world, in which he hoped that science would receive a signal boost from celebrities. Tyler the Creator wrote the theme song. Karlie Kloss was a correspondent.

Bill Nye and a supervolcano (Peacock)

Bill Nye and a supervolcano (Peacock)

But Nye, it seems, has had enough: enough of elected officials trying to politicize the end of the world and enough of human neglect making disasters worse. This time he comes to us as the bad cop from our apocalyptic nightmares. There will be no more carrots, no more celebrities (unless you count the cameos of the executive producer of the series Seth MacFarlane, which I don’t think there is). Nye is a little bad now, but it’s not his fault. This is just what happens when you push Science Dad to the limit of him.

The End is Nye is on Peacock

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